Obama’s Disastrous Response to Terrorism
As we come to the end of the Obama era it is instructive to review how Obama dealt with domestic terrorism. To be blunt, it is a sorry record involving incompetence and political correctness. Coupled with his disastrous record of fighting – or not fighting – overseas terrorist groups such as ISIS, it is hard to not conclude that Obama’s intelligence agencies and immigration policies made a mockery of the United States and sent a message to terrorists that the United States is not serious about fighting terrorism.
Despite all the funding and authority Americans have granted to the federal government to prevent terrorism, the evidence this investment has paid off is scant. Many of the major attacks during the Obama era could have been easily prevented, but were not, due to Obama’s obsessive desire to not “offend” Muslims and his administration’s casual attitude toward terrorism. Indeed, the few terror attacks that were prevented during the Obama era were due to private individuals tipping off the authorities, not federal anti-terror efforts.
The latest terrorist attack involving the murder of five people at the Ft. Lauderdale airport by Esteban Santiago is a fitting end to how the Obama Administration has handled domestic terrorism. As with other Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks, the Obama administration refused to associate the attack with Islam. Obama’s politicized FBI was strangely unable to turned up little of Hammad’s terrorist connections so their default explanation, was, of course, that he was a “deranged” military vet, perhaps suffering from PTSD. But that’s not the full story and it may not even be true. In realty, Hammad’s MySpace page going back ten years reveals his support for Islamic extremism, long before he ever joined the military. Indeed, he went by the name of Asshiq Hammad and as early as 2007, he was downloading terrorist propaganda videos on his MySpace page.
And, as with other domestic terrorists, Obama’s FBI knew all about him. Just a few months previous to the attack, Hammad walked into an FBI office and told them he was “being forced to fight for ISIS” by voices in his head, which was probably a cover excuse used by him if he thought his social media were being monitored by the FBI. If so, the FBI bought it. Nor did they bother to look at his social media posts or put him on the watch list or “no fly” list.
But how Obama officials handled the Ft. Lauderdale shooter is all part of a pattern they have followed for 8 years: The terrorist is always known to the FBI in advance but nothing was done about him but then, after the attack, the Obama team frantically tries to distance the attack from Islam or act like they don’t know anything about any Islamic connection. Then Obama and his congressional allies attempt to use the terror attack to promote gun control and use the occasion to lecture Americans about “hate” or “diversity” or some other completely irrelevant bogey man. This pattern occurs over and over again and demonstrates that this administration was never serious about combating terrorism. A quick review of some of the major terror attacks during the Obama era will bear this out.
-Fort Hood shooter. 2009. 13 killed and 30 wounded. Major Nidal Hasan, an extremist Muslim, went on a shooting spree at the Ft. Hood military base in Texas even though the FBI knew all about his extremist views. Hasan held public presentations about his hatred for Americans, expressed sympathy for suicide bombers, told colleagues that “infidels” should have their throats cut, called himself a “soldier of Allah” and attended one of the most radical mosques in America.
Moreover, the FBI knew he was communicating with Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki about suicide bombings. But no effort was made by the Army to discharge Hasan years earlier despite a plethora of evidence he had violated all kinds of regulations. Hhowever, Army officers did report that pressure had been brought to bear by higher ups to recruit and promote Muslims and as a result were fearful of reporting Hasan’s actions to superiors.
Despite the clear Islamic connection, Obama refused to describe the attack as Islamic related but rather claimed that Hasan “cracked” under “severe stress,” clearly a ploy to distract anyone from thinking Hasan’s Islamic faith was his inspiration. Indeed, the Department of Defense called the incident “workplace violence,” instead of a terror act, but during this time period, the DOD was being ordered by the Obama White House to purge all its documents of “references to Islamist ideology driving terrorism…” so they were gun-shy about even mentioning the word “Islam.”
After the shooting, Army Chief of Staff General George Casey stated on Meet the Press, “Our diversity, not only in our army but in our country, is our strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity become a casualty, I think that’s worse.” To claim that losing diversity is worse than the murder of 14 people probably did not sit well with the surviving family members. When Attorney General Eric Holder was questioned before a congressional committee, he refused to state “radical Islam’” is what motivated Hasan and would only say “People have different reasons,” despite Hasan’s open support for Islamic Jihad. Incredibly, Hasan was not even indicted on any terrorism-related charges. Moreover, Obama’s Defense Department refused to award Purple Hearts to the soldiers wounded by Hasan and actually denied combat death benefits to surviving family members because they refused to consider the attack to be a terrorist attack.
The shooting could have been prevented had the Army discharged Hasan years earlier; moreover, the outcome of the terror attack could also have been different if the Ft. Hood soldiers were armed. Despite a half-dozen other attacks at military bases and recruiting offices PRIOR to Foot Hood, the Obama Administration refused to remove from the books a 1993 DOD directive – signed by President Bill Clinton – prohibiting military personnel from possessing arms on bases and at recruiting offices. Had this nonsensical “gun free zone” directive been lifted by Obama, there’s a good chance Major Hasan would have been shot or perhaps not even attempted his attack. Instead, Obama’s main “solution” was to call for more gun control.
-Christmas Day “Underwear” Bomber. 2009. Nigerian al Qaeda terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Northwest Airline flight in mid air with a chemical bomb but the bomb malfunctioned. Previous to boarding this flight, his father had warned the CIA about his son’s terrorist involvement but his name was never added to the “No Fly” list and the CIA did not circulate the report to other intelligence agencies for weeks. They also failed to search all the data bases for information about him. Such a search would have revealed his communications with the radical “9/11” imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, among other extremists. When some criticized Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan about leaving the Abdulmutallab’s name off the “No Fly” list, Brennan replied that “politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering” would “only serve the goals of al Qaeda.” This comment indicates Brennan is apparently more worried about how al Qaeda feels than keeping Americans safe.
In the aftermath of this incident, Obama ordered his intelligence agencies to “investigate all leads on high priority threats so that these leads are pursued and acted upon aggressively.” This implies, incredibly, that Obama’s intelligence agencies were NOT already doing this. 48 hours after this attempted attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed “the system worked,” even though it was just pure luck the bomb malfunctioned. The “system” did not stop Abdulmuttallab. During this entire time period, Obama remained golfing in Hawaii and did not speak about the case for days.
As with most terror cases during the Obama era, it was treated as a law enforcement case and not an act of terror, so Obdulmuttallab was charged criminally, appeared before a civilian court, and given all the constitutional rights citizens enjoy even though he was NOT a U.S. citizen. He was even read his “Miranda” rights and once informed of his right to remain silent, he went silent. The FBI had to plead with his family to persuade him to talk. This is why handling a terrorist case in the civilian criminal justice system is illogical. Moreover, Obama called him an “isolated extremist” despite his many connections to al Qaeda operatives such as al-Awlaki. This man should have been interrogated by the military without benefit of counsel.
-Times Square Bomber. 2010. Islamic terrorist Faisal Shahzad drove a SUV packed with explosives into Times Square but the bomb malfunctioned. A day later, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano dismissed the incident as a “one-off event,” implying the bomber was a lone wolf. But the reality was that Shahzad had numerous Islamic connections and had been on the DHS travel watch list since 1999. Shahzad trained in Pakistan and was connected to the Taliban. Nevertheless, Obama, Holder, Napolitano and press secretary Robert Gibbs all refused to utter the term “terrorism” or “Islamic” when speaking about this case.
Once again, this case was treated as a criminal case, not a terror case, and so Shahzad was not questioned by military intelligence. He was read his Miranda rights like a common criminal and authorities were unable to gained anything of value from him. Like the Christmas day bomber and the Ft. Hood shooter, Shahzad was linked to radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki. More importantly, if Shahzad was on a travel watch list since 1999, why was he allowed to travel back and forth to Pakistan where he was undoubtedly receiving explosives training?
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